The study was conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California during the Trump administration….reports Asian Lite News

The US government’s national laboratory had in a 2020 report on the origins of Covid-19 concluded that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday citing people familiar with the classified document.

The study prepared in May 2020 by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said that “the hypothesis claiming the virus leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan is plausible and deserves further investigation”, WSJ reported.

The study, dated May 27 was also used by the State Department in its own inquiry into the pandemic’s origins in October last year, during the Trump administration.

Wuhan Institute of Virology

Lawrence Livermore’s “Z Division” drew its assessment based on genomic analysis of the SARS-COV-2 virus, which causes Covid19, the WSJ report said, adding that the national laboratory has declined to comment on the study.

The virus was initially thought to have first transmitted to humans via an infected animal, but the study differed from the dominant view.

ALSO READ: Pompeo says Wuhan lab was into military research

The findings of the US State Department’s probe into the pandemic’s origins were made public in a January 15 fact sheet. It listed a series of circumstantial reasons why the Covid-19 outbreak might have originated as a result of a lab accident.

They include the assertion that “the US government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology) became sick in autumn 2019” with symptoms that were consistent with Covid-19 or a seasonal flu, the report said.

The assertion is partly based on a US intelligence report that three WIV researchers became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care.

The Lawrence Livermore’s study is attracting fresh interest after US President Joe Biden, last month, ordered the intelligent community to re-double efforts to examine how the virus originated, including the lab accident theory. He has asked the agencies to report to him within 90 days on how the virus emerged.

China has, on the other hand, dismissed the Wuhan lab leak theory as “extremely impossible” and has accused the US of “political manipulation”.

Blinken slams China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken slammed China again for the lack of transparency on the origins of the coronavirus, as global pressure mounts for a fresh probe in Wuhan.

“What we’ve seen, more than unfortunately, from the PRC (People’s Republic of China) since the beginning of this crisis is a failure to meet its basic responsibilities in terms of sharing information and providing access,” Blinken told the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, reported Voice of America (VOA).

In his opening remarks to the Committee, the Secretary of State said that China and others are working hard to “bend international organizations to their worldview” and stressed that organisations should remain grounded in the values, principles, and rules of road and rules of the world.

“We got to revitalize our alliances and partnerships, out-compete China, and defend the international rules-based order against those who would seek to undermine it, renew democratic values at home and abroad, and push back against malign activity by our adversaries,” he said.

Earlier, a top World Health Organization official on Monday said that the WHO cannot compel China to divulge more data on the origins of COVID-19.

Mike Ryan, Director of the agency’s emergencies programme, said at a news conference that the “WHO doesn’t have the power to compel anyone in this regard”, reported Al Jazeera.

Massive cover-up’

China is continuing with a “massive cover-up” on Covid-19 even as the theory that the coronavirus had leaked from Wuhan lab gains credibility, Fox News has reported citing advisory board member to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Jamie Metzl, the WHO official told Fox News that the Chinese deception involves “destroying samples, hiding records, placing a universal gag order on Chinese scientists and imprisoning Chinese citizen journalists asking the most basic questions,”

It further reported that China is reportedly planning to build dozens of biosafety level three labs and one biosafety level four lab over the next five years, as investigators take another look at the possibility that the coronavirus could have leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

“The more that China stonewalls, the more suspicious that it looks,” Metzl said. “We can’t give China a veto over whether or not we investigate the world’s worst pandemic in a century and then do everything we can to make everybody safe.”

The WHO advisor stressed the importance of doing everything possible to have a “full investigation” into the pandemic, including the US working with allies to have a “parallel” process if China does not cooperate.

ALSO READ: ‘Wuhan lab head, US expert flagged coronavirus risk in 2015’

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